Putin says the losses in Ukraine are a common tragedy


Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech today is going on longer than many might have predicted, perhaps at least in part due to the aforementioned decisions not to deliver two traditional big annual speeches this year.

In fact, it may be possible that some of the content he would otherwise have used in those two speeches is included in today’s shorter, less scrutinized statements.

Among them, he also said that the losses on the battlefield in Ukraine were “an ordinary tragedy” and that he continued to see the Ukrainian people as a “brotherly nation” – despite what he called “Moscow’s special military operation”. .

Putin said Russia’s enemies wanted to see the country fall apart and repeated a claim that Russia was forced to launch military action in Ukraine because of what he called Western “provocations,” an idea Kiev and the West dismiss as false. .

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said the country’s military needs to be expanded as he acknowledged “difficulties” during Moscow’s partial mobilization.

Shoigu said the country’s army should be expanded from the current 1 million personnel to 1.5 million. He said the number should include 695,000 volunteer contract soldiers.

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